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Fukien Tea -- Doesn't Get Worse Than This

Posted by bonsairookie none (My Page) on
Sun, Mar 17, 13 at 18:38

Hi Everyone. Brand new to the forum, hoping I can get a little help, although this is one of those shake your head stories.

Bought a Fukien Tea bonsai for my in-laws last Xmas (2011). Gave them the care sheet that said, in essence, indoor plant (i.e., temp = minimum 60 degrees), must have as much sunlight as possible, and water every 2-3 days. Let's just say that they lost the care sheet and forgot everything that it said. I sometimes found the tree in the middle of a room, far from a window. Someone told them they should only water it once a week. I found it outdoors this week (in Maryland), where the temps are getting into the 30s at night. Apparently the plant had aphids, so they started spraying it repeatedly with insecticide, and put it outside.

Needless to say, all of its leaves fell off at some point. The only thing that has me even remotely heartened is that there are about 6-7 new leaves on it (or so they say -- they don't look new to me).

I now have the tree under a full-spectrum light in a warm room on a tray of rocks with water in the rocks. Does it have any chance at all of surviving? I can provide pictures if that would help.

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Fukien Tea -- Doesn't Get Worse Than This

I had to chuckle a little bit when you said they put it ourside. I'm from Pa., so I know how cold it's been on the east coast. I've found that Fukien Tea are quite resilient. It does sound like the tree has been abused, but it wasnt on purpose. I've never used a full spectrum light, all my plants are by a window which gets 10 to 12 hours of light daily. I'd water it every third day, fukien tea like the soil to be a bit dry at times. My idiot proof method of using a chop stick works great with them.
Fukien tea is considered a tropical plant, care for it for a few months. You may see greeny spirting from the nodes. After a few months you will see if any limbs have died. Also, get a spray bottle and mist it once daily. Lastly, I would suggest in a month to use a diluted fertilizer on it. All the harsh chemicals and cold weather has stessed it out, It will be dormant for a while recouperating.

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